The 2012 Mazda3 gets some exterior and interior revisions but is most notable for introducing the all-new “Skyactiv-G”, an optional engine claiming to earn the car as much as 40 mpg on the highway. A new six-speed automatic transmission will complement this engine as well.
SKYACTIV technology is Mazda’s new suite of redesigned engines and transmissions that are designed to increase fuel efficiency. “In the sedan, it achieves fuel economy ratings of 28/40 mpg with the automatic; the numbers are 27/39 mpg with the manual,” reports Automobile Magazine. When equipped with the optional SkyActiv engine, the Mazda3 will have a blue ring around each projector-beam headlight lens, extra badging and a blue engine cover under the hood.
The front bumper has been smoothed, and although the smiling grille’s detailing has changed, its size remains the same. Most of the changes to the exterior and underbody were made to improve aerodynamics, which improve by 7 percent for both body styles.
Interior changes for 2012 Mazda3 include silver trim on the finer touch points, such as knobs and vent pulls. The gauge markings are now backlit, day or night. The dashboard LCDs are white rather than red, though the Mazda Speed3 version features red gauge backlighting. SkyActiv logos appear in locations such as on the shift knob. The fabric seat upholstery on both lower and higher trim levels has different patterns.
As required on all 2012 models, the Mazda3 has antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Airbags include the two in front, seat-mounted side-impact torso airbags for the front occupants and side curtains along the side windows. A blind spot monitoring system and active headlights are new options for the 2012 Mazda3.
The new Mazda3 with Skyactiv technology is due to hit Mazda dealerships in October, 2011!